Getting back to normal for U.S. government workers

10/17/2013 10:41 AM

10/19/2013 6:10 PM

It literally took an act of Congress and the president’s signature, but finally 800,000 nonessential federal workers get to go back on the job.

The freeways in the Kansas City area started to pick up Thursday. Expect the usual congestion by Friday. Restaurants, where breakfast and lunchtime traffic had been down will see more seats filled.

No doubt federal workplaces, where few folks have been around, will have unusual issues to contend with on their return after nearly three weeks of being off. The office refrigerators will likely be filled with rotting food that has to be tossed.

Imagine the smell. Office plants that went without water since Oct. 1 will have to be replaced. Congress has no answer for that.

Piles of regular mail, email and voice mail will have to read, prioritized and acted on. The gates and barricades that closed federal parks and monuments will come down. States that took them over can now give them back.

Eventually, new paychecks will arrive for nonessential workers, yielding a bonanza of cash that households had to live without. Regular pay will be in there, getting things back to normal.

Maybe the surplus will give federal workers some savings in case they have to do it again in January.

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